Around the Institute

On “Impact”

February 8, 2013

Pass It Along

The Institute for Inclusive Security (IIS) may not have the most transparent name, but this blog post explains its purpose indirectly by highlighting mainly what others do.  Nice.  Almost Zen.  IIS points to a range of resources showing the many different ways that women contribute to more effective peace-building and diplomacy.  And in the version sent to subscribers, they add “an ask”—albeit a very modest one: forward this email.   

A Little Less Talking

Participatory evaluation” isn’t a new idea; in fact, the Harvard Family Research Project devoted an entire issue of The Evaluation Exchange in 1995 to exploring related strategies and implications.  Recent cases like InsightShare’s participatory videos and GlobalGiving’s community stories demonstrate just how useful this type of evaluation continues to be.  With their latest e-book, Time to Listen: Hearing People on the Receiving End of International Aid, the folks at CDA Collaborative Learning Projects remind us in explicit terms why this is the case.  Listening ain’t easy, but it’s necessary…especially for evaluators.

The Impact of the News

Journalist Jonathan Stray knows that evaluating the impact of his field—news reporting—is tough.  There isn’t agreement on what this “impact” should be, much less on metrics to understand how journalism influences audiences beyond the typical clicks and page views.  Yet all these challenges shouldn’t prevent us from posing this question in the first place, which is exactly what he does in a blog post for the Nieman Journalism Lab.  Stray describes where we are, where we should be, and what kind of steps we need to take to get there.